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Improving Federal Procurement: The Benefits of Vendor-Neutral Contract Specifications

21 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2006  

R. Preston McAfee

Yahoo! Research Labs

Date Written: February 2006

Abstract

Government procurements that specify brand names can unnecessarily increase the price of purchases. In 2004, approximately 69 percent of the applicable solicitations for computer systems and technology contained language that either required specific name brand microprocessors, usually Intel, or specified that the processor should be equivalent to a particular brand microprocessor. Such exclusionary language could cost hundreds of millions of dollars unnecessarily. For some products, the variety and complexity of items compel contracting agents to use brand names rather than to detail specific technical requirements and product characteristics. In the case of microprocessors, third-party benchmarks represent a solution to such a procurement specification issue.

JEL Classification: H57

Suggested Citation

McAfee, R. Preston, Improving Federal Procurement: The Benefits of Vendor-Neutral Contract Specifications (February 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=882509 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.882509

Randolph Preston McAfee (Contact Author)

Yahoo! Research Labs ( email )

Pasadena, CA 91103
United States

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